Comparison of Free eCommerce Websites in the UK with Integrated Payment Gateway

A payment gateway is a software technology that transfers payment data from the buyer to the seller. Payment gateways are what makes online shopping possible in the first place. Every eCommerce website will need a payment gateway to accept online orders.

What's an eCommerce payment gateway?

A payment gateway verifies the buyer’s card details securely, guarantees the buyer’s account has enough funds to make the purchase and finally allows merchants to receive funds. Payment gateways function as an interface connecting a merchant’s eCommerce website and its acquiring bank. It uses encrypted messages to transfer sensitive credit card details between the acquirer’s bank and the issuer’s bank. In short, the payment gateway is the middle man that makes online shopping possible on the internet in a safe way.

There are several players in online payments – 

Types of payment gateways

1. Redirects payment gateways:

A redirect is when a payment gateway takes a customer from the merchant’s eCommerce website to the payment gateway’s site to complete the payment. Paypal is a perfect example of a payment gateway that uses redirect.

Advantages of a redirect payment gateway
Disadvantages of a redirect payment gateway

2. Direct payment gateway:

Direct payment gateways allow customers to complete the purchase on the merchant’s eCommerce website without leaving the online store; however, the payment processing happens on the payment gateway’s back-end servers. An example of a direct payment gateway is Stripe.

Advantages of a redirect payment gateway
Disadvantages of a redirect payment gateway

3. On-site payments:

Big businesses process payments directly on their servers, controlling the checkout process on their side. The advantage of using on-site payments is that big businesses manage themselves as the middleman and keep all the money to cut the need for a payment gateway.

What functionalities do eCommerce payment gateways provide?

Process payments:

Payment gateways are the intermediaries between buyers and sellers online, and they facilitate the transfer of payment from the buyer’s bank to the seller’s bank.

Apply discounts and coupons:

eCommerce websites could offer customers deals and coupons. The payment gateway dashboard will provide you with the functionality to apply discounts and coupons on the following:

Shipping rates:

eCommerce payment gateways can calculate shipping rates on a product level. You could select a list of countries that you ship your products to.

Apply tax rates:

eCommerce payment gateways can do automatic tax calculations on the fly and add them to your customer’s bill. These tax rates could apply to monthly subscriptions, one-off payments and invoices. You can apply your sales tax rate at the country and state level so you can be sure that your customers pay the correct tax amount on your eCommerce platform.


eCommerce payment gateways can generate invoices for the customers showing them details of their orders, taxes and shipping rates.

What is the main disadvantage of choosing an eCommerce payment gateway?

Choosing Paypal or Stripe is excellent if you are in a western country. Still, if you are in a developing country where local cards commonly use, international payment gateways such as PayPal or Stripe are not options.

For example, Stripe only supports in 44 countries for businesses. PayPal only supports 25 currencies.

Comparison of free eCommerce websites in the UK with integrated payment gateway

Webstarts is a US company that offers websites, blogs and free eCommerce websites with an integrated payment gateway for US customers. They have a website builder that helps customers drag and drop to create photos, text and other elements. Their editor enables you to create a unique website that is different from standard templates that only allow merchants to upload their photos and enter their texts in specific locations on the HTML page. Their support is US-based.


It is a US-based web builder that powers over 50 million websites. Weebly is owned by Square, the eCommerce payment gateway giant. They offer a free website plan; however, this plan comes with limitations:

You can only use a subdomain.

You only restrict to 500 MB storage.


Weebly does not offer free eCommerce websites with payment gateway. Their most basic plan starts at £9 a month. Weebly uses Square as a payment gateway. You get most of the functionalities of the eCommerce websites from Square, which calculates taxes and accepts coupons. Weebly is not accessible outside the US.

Martave is a UK-based company that offers free eCommerce websites with an integrated payment gateway so you can accept payments immediately. There is no limit to the number of products you can enter into your shop.

Freewebstore offers free eCommerce websites with a maximum of 20 products to sell online. Some of the features they offer include:

eCommerce payment processing options and rates:

There are different types of payment gateways:


Shopify payment gateway is the default payment gateway for a Shopify store. Shopify offers a point of sale and online payments.

You will only be able to use it if you have an online store with Shopify. It is famous for its high card processing fees and high chargeback rates. If a buyer disputes a transaction, the merchant will charge £10, which will be refunded if the merchant wins the case


PayPal is an online payment gateway owned by eBay. They do not offer Point of Sale payments. They provide strong buyers’ protection which makes PayPal trusted by customers when doing online shopping. Their disadvantage is that they only support a limited number of currencies, making it impossible to use them for eCommerce in developing countries. They also have a £14 chargeback fee for merchants. Many merchants lose the chargeback fees because of the high level of buyers’ protection. PayPal is perfect for sending and receiving money, and it is very user-friendly to create a link to request customers to pay.

The advantage of PayPal is that they have PayPal credit that lets customers borrow money to buy expensive items and pay in instalments.


Stripe payment gateway is a global name. It offers a point of sale and online payment processing. Stripe’s Point of Sale needs programming, and it is not a ready-made solution.

Stripe allows merchants to customize the checkout experience. They accept major credit cards and wallets such as Apple and Google pay. They have Strong Customer Authentication (SCA). Stripe offers a great dashboard to manage payments there.


Square is mainly a Point of Sale(“POS”) payment gateway. They do give free eCommerce websites in the UK with an integrated payment gateway through Weebly. Square provides merchants with free downloadable software or a card reader for their point of sale shops. They offer customers free software that tracks real-time inventory and stock levels. They offer merchants the ability to either print their receipts or send them to them by email.


Opayo was previously known as SagePay. Opayo is a UK-based payment gateway. They are the eCommerce payment gateway of choice for many big UK businesses such as EasyJet.

Opayo processed around £40bn worth of payments online and at stores for over 50,000 merchants. They allow merchants to accept payment in-store, online and on the phone. They operate monthly plans for merchants.


Klarna checkout is more convincing than other payment eCommerce payment gateways because they offer a lot more services such as buy now, pay later, pay in instalments and pay directly.

They differentiate themselves by making Klarna indispensable for merchants that sell high-value products such as furniture, bicycles and jewellery.

They are popular with customers who want to pay interest-free in three instalments.


Amazon pay is the default payment for merchants who list their items on Amazon. Their fees are high compared to other eCommerce payment gateways. Amazon Pay works on the web, phone and by voice. They are similar to PayPal because they allow customers to pay from the credit cards saved on customers’ Amazon accounts.


Ayden is a multi-channel payment gateway that gives merchants views of their sales online and offline. They are renowned for the tools they give merchants to understand their sales.


It is an online and POS payment gateway that works on a monthly subscription.

At a Glance

eCommerce payment gateway Transaction fees Monthly fees
Shopify payment gateway 2.2% +20p per transaction for basic plan
1.6% +20p per transaction for advanced plan
$29 for basic plan to $299 for advanced
Paypal 1.2% +30p per transaction Free
Stripe 1.4% +20p for European cards
2.9% +20p for non-European cards
Square 1.9% for European cards and
2.9% for non-European cards per payment
Opayo NA £20.90 a month for 350 transactions per month.
£45 a month for 500 transactions per month.
Bespoke plans for companies that have over 3000 transactions a month.
Klarna checkout 3.29% + 0.3 USD per transaction Free
Amazon Pay 2.7% + 30p for transactions less than £50,000 a month. Free
Ayden For Europe: 3.95% and 0.1 for Amex Visa rate and 0.1 per transaction for Visa Free
WorldPay Gateway standard is £19 per month Gateway advanced £45 per month

There are several free eCommerce platforms in the market, but each comes with limitations such as using subdomain only, limited products, or limited storage space.

At Martave, we offer a free eCommerce website in the UK with an integrated payment gateway.

A hosted payment gateway is the best way to ensure that you remain compliant with industry requirements. Hosted payment gateways transfer the responsibility of being compliant from the merchant to the eCommerce platform.


Just a quick note to say thank you very much for the excellent service.  Martave is really great. I am really grateful.